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Properties and Performance of Textiles

End-use applications

In the area of study: Properties and Performance of Textiles you will learn about the influences of fabric, yarn and fibre properties on the selection of textile end-uses, colouration and decoration. This tutorial focuses on the establishment of a functional critieria for a high visibility workplace safety vest and analyses and evaluates fabric, yarn and fibres (finishes) for the intended end-use.

This material addresses aspects of the following syllabus outcome:

A student:

H3.1 explains the interrelationship between fabric, yarn and fibre properties.

H4.1 justifies the selection of fabric, yarn, fibre and fabric finishing techniques for specific end-uses.

Extract from Stage 6 Textiles and Design Syllabus © Board of Studies NSW 2007.

Occupational and Safety requirements are essential for workers in all workplaces. The high visibility workplace safety vest is just one example of the many ways specialised textiles are meeting safety requirements in society.

The law in NSW regarding safety of people in the workplace is called the OH&S Act 2000. This law requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. The workplace high visibility safety vest enables workers to be easily identified.

The safety vest is a textile item designed specifically to be worn by workers who occupy construction sites, factory sites or work sites that require worker visual protection such as airport staff and power station workers. A safety vest needs to:

In some work places the vest should protect the wearer from flame or sparks.

Performance criteria for high visibility vest

In order to design a high visibility vest performance criteria need to be established to ensure the textile item meets the needs of its intended end-use. The high visibility workplace safety vest needs to be:

A fabric choice that combines these performance requirements will meet the needs of a vest to be worn by those on a work site.

Activity 1

Complete the following table by justifying or suggesting a reason for the performance criteria suggested for the high visibility vest.


Justify (give your reasons) for each of the performance criteria suggested.

•  high visibility  
•  comfortable to wear  
•  anti static  
•  lightweight  
•  wash fast  
•  light fast  
•  reflective stripe  
•  flame retardant  
•  sun safe fabric  
•  easy to care for  


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How fabric, yarn and fibre properties contribute to the functional criteria

Now that the performance criterion has been set for the specialised textile item, decisions need to be made about fabric type, yarn construction, fibre choice and fabric finish required. The ultimate combination of fabric, yarn, fibre and finish will determine how well the textile item meets the needs of the end-use.

Activity 2

a) Access the suggested web sites for information to complete the following table.
Suggested Identify the properties of the suggested fabric, yarn, fibre and finish that make it suitable for the intended end-use.

Fabric Warp knit fabric with carbon fibre insertion

http://www.tex.hw.ac.uk/fromfibretoproduct/knit-intro.html (external website)
http://www.seattlefabrics.com/ribbon_and_tapes.html  (external website) http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/dispersedye.shtml  (external website)
http://www.fabriclink.com/Consumer/TopTen-2012.cfm (external website)

Yarn Mutifilament hard twist

http://hsc.csu.edu.au/textiles_design/performance/2795/gloveans.htm (external website)
http://www.multifilamentyarn.com/pp-multifilament-yarn-1112316.html (external website)

Fibre Polyester with carbon fibre insertion http://textiles.indianetzone.com/1/polyester.htm (external website)http://www.theseacpages.co.uk/CarbonFibre.aspx (external website)http://www.ofseth.org/IMG/pdf/OFSETH-CEN-D1.3-Annex1-PU-a.pdf (external website)

Flame retardant finish

Sun factor UPF

http://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/5/429/flame-retardant-finishes1.asp (external website)http://www.trevira.de/en/textiles-made-from-trevira/home-textiles/flame-retardant-textiles-trevira-cs/how-trevira-cs-works.html (external website)http://www.arpansa.gov.au/Services/upf/index.cfm (external website)http://www.fabriclink.com/dictionaries/textile.cfm#U (external website)
Care instructions Polyester knit

https://www.reflectiveapparel.com/washing-instructions.aspx (external website)

b) Evaluate the use of a flame retardant, UPF, fluorescent coloured, polyester warp knit fabric with carbon insertion for the manufacture of a high visibility workplace safety vest.


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Finishing techniques to enhance fabric performance, e.g. fire retardant

Access the following website to answer the following questions about Trevira CS, a flame retardant polyester.

http://www.trevira.de/en/textiles-made-from-trevira/home-textiles/flame-retardant-textiles-trevira-cs/how-trevira-cs-works.html (external website)

Activity 3

a) Explain the difference between a self-extinguishing finish and a self-extinguishing fibre.
b) Define Trevira polyester and outline how it is manufactured.
c) Why is Trevira permanently flame-retardant?
d) Identify the properties of this flame-retardant fabric that make it desirable for a safety vest.
e) Complete the following table identifying the advantages and disadvantages for the consumer, manufacturer, employee and environment of Trevira CS finishing technique technology.
Trevira finishing technique Advantages Disadvantages
  • consumer
  • manufacturer
  • employee
  • environment


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